Mark the words of Holy Writ: “It is good for a man when he hath borne the yoke [the cross] from his youth.” (Lam. 3: 27)
Wherefore, take the cross which the Lord has destined for you; desire no other, and learn to bear it in your youth, for then it will gradually appear to you to be light and sweet. But it is absolutely necessary for you to learn to bear two things: humiliations and injuries.
Bear humiliations. It is obvious that in order to do this, you must possess and practise true humility. Without this, no salvation is possible for you. Without humility you can not be a disciple of Him Who said: “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart.” . . .
Do not say that humility degrades a young man; that he will be despised if he is meek and humble. On the contrary, what really degrades a young man, and causes him to be laughed at, and makes him appear small, mean, and ridiculous, and pitiable, is pride and arrogance. Look around you and see how true this is. When a young man is full of himself, shows himself an egotist; when he is conceited and vainglorious; when he is inordinately ambitious; when he looks down upon the poor and lowly and fawns upon the rich and powerful; when he ascribes his talents and good qualities, his success and prosperity, only to himself . . . is not all this very mean, truly ridiculous, vulgar and pitiable? It is only true humility which makes men great in the sight of God and of their fellow-men . . . Strive, therefore, to be truly humble, for then you will be able to bear humiliations.
Learn, moreover, to bear injuries and unpleasantness . . . Do you, for the sake of the meekness and gentleness of Christ, learn to control yourself under circumstances of irritation; hold yourself back, be not abusive, learn at least to be silent; in a word, endure.